Volkswagen T-Roc long-term test review

The T-Roc is a new kind of Volkswagen – one that's designed to appeal to your heart as well as your head. But is it good enough to gain recognition amid a field of impressive small SUV rivals? We...

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What Car? team
28 Aug 2018 8:47 | Last updated: 17 Sep 2018 15:53

  • The car Volkswagen T-Roc Design 1.0 TSI 115
  • Run by Alastair Clements, special contributor
  • Why it’s here Having rested its SUV aspirations on the larger Tiguan and Touareg thus far, VW is now hoping its smaller and funkier T-Roc can take on a wealth of small SUV rivals
  • Needs to Combine the quality, solidity and practicality we’ve come to expect from VW, with enough flair to tempt buyers away from some seriously chic opposition

Price £20,500 Price as tested £23,540 Miles covered 2706 Official economy 55.4mpg Test economy 33.8mpg Options fitted Discover Navigation (£780), Car-Net Security and Service (£350), 17in ‘Mayfield’ Atlantic Blue diamond-turned alloy wheels with anti-theft bolts (£40), Active Info Display (£405), Ravenna Blue dashpad (free), black roof (free), metallic paint (£575), luggage compartment mat (£70)


28 August 2018 – Size matters

Jokes aside, the two words in the title above are particularly apt when applied to the T-Roc, as pointed out to me recently by a colleague who borrowed the VW for a couple of days and came back positively glowing.

“I reckon it’s the perfect-sized car,” he exclaimed, and I think he might just be right. It’s large enough to feel ‘big-car’ secure, with that sense of solidity that only an SUV can impart, yet with a footprint no larger than that of the Golf on which it’s based, it’s small enough to be a doddle around town and simple to park in an overcrowded multi-storey, without the constant fear of finding dings down the side upon your return.

Volkswagen T-Roc long-term test review

The height, too, strikes the ideal balance between the archetypical ‘commanding’ driving position thanks to the raised ride, and a height-restriction-friendly overall distance from floor to roofrails of just 1573mm (or 5ft 2in in old money).

While we’re on the topic of dimensions – and at the risk of appearing a bit obsessed – I continue to be impressed by the T-Roc’s boot, having initially been a little disappointed by the official capacity figure of 445 litres. The flexibility of the two-level floor is great, and after three months with the car I’ve finally worked out what the pair of little wedge-shaped bits of plastic do on either side of the parcel-shelf rest: they hold up the boot floor while you’re loading the large cavity beneath – no more holding it up with my head while wrestling with wellies and coats.

Volkswagen T-Roc long-term test review

Another significant positive – one likely to be relevant to those who aren’t preoccupied by boot space – is the fuel consumption. As the car’s mileage increases, so the thirst of its 999cc three-cylinder petrol engine has reduced.

The overall figure is now creeping up, but on the day-to-day commute I’m now regularly seeing mpg in the late 40s (helped no doubt by lighter traffic during this past month), and on a long run it’s capable of 50-plus. Bearing in mind the 1270kg it has to lug around (and that’s not including my own significant contribution), that’s not bad going.

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